more small steps...

Our bright sunny day has definitely faded into a funky, gray, cloudy and now rainy day.  The Hubs is upstairs catching a short nap, the prefect thing to do on your last vacation day before going back to work for one day.

So much has been going on, so many changes since the last time I wrote.  I feel like I neglect my blog more than anything else in my life and often toy with just closing it.  And then I remember that it keeps me sane in those quiet hours that I have to myself. I often find myself snapping pictures just to share, and thinking about things I want to write.

I write this for me.  Over the course of the past few years it has had times when it is vitally important to who I am and where I want my dreams to take me. It has helped me navigate heartbreak, stress, fears and celebrate so many magical and important times.

Because of this and so many more reasons, I will continue to write in those quiet moments.  When silence allows.  For a couple of months now, I have been navigating some interesting waters and just before the holidays I found out that I was selected to lead my Y into it's next phase of existence. Right now I am still a bit in the disbelieving stage, I'm excited and thrilled.  It's like when you receive your engagement ring, you keep staring at it, expecting it to disappear - to have been a beautiful dream.  Or the first time you hold your baby in your arms.  The enormity of it all is overwhelming.

Joy, excitement, anxiety... all powerful emotions. Each of those times I asked myself if I was up for what lay ahead.  Could I be someone worthy of marrying my best friend?  Was I good enough to be a good mom, to raise that sweet life and protect it?  Am I strong enough, skilled enough, wise enough to close a 91 year old Y and open successfully it's new replacement?

Well, I have a great marriage that is a celebration of love, life, and friendship.  It's the perfect mixture, so yes I was worthy.  My children are both incredible human beings.  I could not be more proud of them if I tried. They both fill my life with love and happiness in their own ways.  So yes, I was good enough.

Those are, up to this point, my greatest achievements that I feared I would not be good enough for.  So yes, I do believe I am the right person, at the right place and in the right moment in time for this task.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, who in their right mind wouldn't?  But I am blessed to be part of the Y.  It's filled with people that want to lift you up, help you.  I've got this.

As I look back on 2016, it's been quite a year.  It's seen me hit some of my lowest points ever.  I've almost lost both of my pups. Hubs went from healing for his hip to injuring his back. I've traveled from despair in my work life to having a career that I love.  My own health was at the lowest it had been in years to the best it's been in so long that I cannot remember.

2016 has been a year for the record books in more ways than one.

Each day it feels like another "star" has left us.  I am not truly into the "fame" thing, so while I feel sadness that a famous person has passed, it is just another passing to me.

The tears and rifts in our country are at an all time high.  This is sad.  We are all the same, we all require love, kindness and compassion to be the best that we can be.  I am prayerful that we will find a way as a country to remember we are all Americans and it's okay to disagree as long as we remember that we are part of a large and growing family.

Changes politically have rocked this country.  Right, wrong or indifferent personally I feel that many folks just sent a message they wanted to be heard.  I guess we will see how that ends up...

These are all things that while I feel them and live with the consequences of them I do not have control over them.

Midway through 2016 I started focusing on what I could change, where I could make a difference in my world.

I started on me.

You never have to sit idle, you do not have to be a passive "victim" in your own life.

My daughter bought my Christmas Eve Jammies, it's a family tradition, like so many other's have. As I opened it she said "they won't fit you, I bought them when you were fat".  I know it doesn't sound like it, but that was one of the most beautiful sentences that I have ever heard.

My heart soared.  My spirit lifted.  I felt affirmed.  Never had anyone said "you are fat".  I was always accepted and loved. No one ever said, you are slowly shortening your life, you have allowed yourself to become a victim, you don't have a good quality of life or you are out of control.  Any of the things that were the truth.

I had to be forced to see that.  Bullied by my best friend.  The six months that I have invested in me, have led to so many blessings.  When I realized that I was important, I also realized that old saying "you can't pour from an empty cup" was not only true but a beacon to follow.

While my girl was sweet saying "when you were fat", the truth is I am still fat.  I have a long way to go on this journey.  But fat didn't happen over night and healthy won't either.  I was so excited to receive the thoughtful gifts I got for Christmas.  As I sit here looking at them on the counter I realize that they are gifts of pure love.

I adore popcorn, but couldn't bring myself to have to record the fat grams in traditional popcorn and I also didn't want to spend the money for an air popper.  Instead I looked longingly at my popcorn kernels and felt deprived.  Hubs bought me a fabulous on demand air-popper!  It even measures enough seeds for one serving.  Heck I feel I need one for my office, but I WILL NOT spend that kind of money for a second one.

Sitting close to it is my Inspiralizer, I have a spiralizer with multiple blades for my KitchenAide and I love it, but by it's very nature there are veggies and fruits that I would love to spiralize and was unable to.  My girl evidently heard me talking to my cookbook (yes I do odd things like that) and silently ordered, then prayed that Hubs hadn't also heard me (they usually end up getting me the same thing) my Inspiralizer.  I played with it the first day while cooking a large dinner, I was so excited! Again, pure love.

With Hubs being injured he couldn't walk, and I didn't want to on my own.  It was too quiet, too much like a punishment.  He'd let me use several different sets of his earbuds, but I hated the way the cord dangled, wrapped around me and the sounds it made rubbing against my coat.  I also cannot stand to use earbuds where they cancel out all sound.  It freaks me out. Under the tree, wrapped with love, was a set of brilliant aqua blue sport Bluetooth Bose earbuds.  No cords.. don't shut out sound... I was prepared to hate them.  I can't... they are perfect and I LOVE them!  Now when I have to walk alone, I can hear music, talk to loved ones, listen to a book or whatever else my heart desires.  Without saying it, again there was encouragement.

My sweet boy sent me the coolest cookbook.  No it isn't low fat or even all healthy.  But it feeds my inner foodie, it keeps the joy in cooking and nourishing my family.  I cannot wait to visit with him and try as many recipes as his heart desires - I'll just get an extra walk in.

I didn't make any great strides in reaching my goals over the holiday season.  In fact unless I completely quit eating and work out non-stop between now and Saturday, I am fairly positive I will not hit my goal in December.

Guess what... It doesn't matter.  I will reach that goal.  It just isn't going to be this week, but it will happen soon.  I held my own during the holidays.  My focus wasn't about losing, it was to maintain, and to enjoy the balance in my new lifestyle.  I've done it!  I found and lost the same 3 pounds for a solid month.  And I am okay with it.

In filling my own cup I have more to give others.  It's amazing how that happens.

Last night Hubs, the girls and I had a night out on the town.  It involved a walk through an area of the city I have never explored - so much fun, will have to go again.  Next time we will be able to get into Fitz's without waiting an hour.  Then Hubs and our girl hung out sipping hot cocoa while the grand daughter and I went ice skating.

I expected to be lame today - I haven't hit the ice in years! I wanted to be greedy and stay for hours.  I didn't. But oh the joy! In January I couldn't walk.  Last night I was gliding along as if the years hadn't happened.  Hubs was going to take me today, he would sit by the fire pit with his cigar and smooth jazz, while I went skating.  Maybe the rain was natures way of saying don't push it. Maybe. But I see it happening again soon.

I wonder who else is wrapping up 2016 feeling reflective?  Are you taking the time to celebrate your accomplishments and focus on the great things you have done?

As I move forward with my blog, I am going to be spending more time doing just that.  Focusing on good, celebrating and building up.  I hope you will join me.  I hope we can encourage and support each other on our journey's... Who's game?

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